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I did what any rational, newly impregnated woman would do…I called Robert and left him scathing messages. When I still didn’t hear from him, I called his family and begged them.
I didn’t know Robert tragically died. And it’s not my fault that Cameron, his cold, ruthless, asshole brother flew from England to retrieve me and prove to all that I was lying.
But I can’t be sure, not definitely. So for the foreseeable future I will keep Shaw Mallory under my roof and close at hand.
The problem is, the more time I spend with her, the more I find that I’m attracted to her. I want to possess her. I desire her.
Now it’s my turn to beg…
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The club that Linda and the other girls have brought me to is my worst nightmare. It’s hot, crowded, and smells like booze, vomit, and something that I know isn’t the sweaty armpit of a bear but smells like it.
And the lights. They’re flashing, strobes that gave me a headache the moment I teetered in on the high-heeled death traps Linda had shoved on my feet—after squeezing my size eight butt into a dress that looked small enough to fit an eight year old.
“Isn’t this place great!” one of Linda’s many friends yells into my ear, her vodka-scented breath hitting my cheek in a hot puff of air and spit combined.
“Sure,” I mutter with a fake smile, as I lean against the bar and signal the bartender for another water and a round for the rowdy bunch sitting in one of the lounge areas.
This is not my scene, and I would have avoided it at all costs if I could have, but Linda—my college roomie, all round pain in my ass, I-love-her-she’s-a hyperactive-party-girl—refused to leave me alone in the dorm and had practically twisted my arm.
So here I am, pretending to drink while fighting off a migraine and hoping that I make it out of here alive and with at least some hearing left thanks to the music and the screaming, writhing crowd on the dance floor.
“So Lin says you’re done. You finished your studies three months early?” she yells, leaning over and shaking her bust at the grinning barman.
I don’t even know why she’s bothering to ask since she’s obviously not interested enough to pretend to wait for my reply, but I bite back my annoyance and wait for the order, while trying to block out the din around me.
Yeah, I have finished three months early. It’s something I’ve worked my ass off to accomplish so that I can be a shoo-in for the internship at the museum of natural history.
The program isn’t new, but it’s so sought after that only a few students know about it because the school and lecturers have singled them out as suitable candidates.
You’d assume that I’ve spent the last four years of my life studying for something I’m passionate about, but that is just not true. I chose the field of History and Archaeology because, not only is it a very stable one, but the money isn’t bad. At all. And that will mean that I’ll always have a job and a decent income.
That’s important to me since I come from a broken home that’s run by a mother whose only goal in life is to torture not only me but my twin brother Alec, too.
He’s away at Tulane, thank God, and free of her tyranny so that just leaves me. I’d elected to stay in the dorms at school—even though the house is only two trains away—and you better believe I’d sever an artery and endure a hospital stay before going home during breaks.
I have a definite plan for my life and nothing will stop me from getting there. That’s why when my professor had advised me to try and finish sooner than is actually humanly possible, I’d taken his advice and worked myself half to death to get done.
Now I’m almost positive I’ll get that internship.
“Hey Shaw! Are you growing roots girl? Where are the drinks?”
I grimace and shoot the bartender a look to get his eyes out of…Ann’s…cleavage and get cracking with the order before Linda can yell at me again.
Seriously, this blows. I’d really rather go back to the dorm and finish packing my stuff so that I can get a head start on moving tomorrow. I’ve got a tiny, one-bedroom apartment waiting for me, thanks to the money I’ve saved all through college.
As I said, I’ll do myself harm before living with my drunken, verbally abusive mother again.
“Here you go, baby.”
“Thanks,” I mutter, throwing down the money and glaring at Ann to help me carry the glasses over.
I spend the next hour trying to avoid Linda’s drunken whooping, but it’s hard. The bar is ironically the only place I can go to get away, and it’s as I’m ordering another water that I feel a tingling sensation creep up my spine and settle at the nape of my neck.
When I turn to look, I meet a pair of the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. They’re smiling—yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but this guy’s eyes are truly happy—and focused solely on me.
I swallow my drool and nod back because I can’t speak as I’m checking him out. He’s got sandy brown hair and his features are…I can only describe them as angelic.
But it’s the mouth that seals my fate because his lips are puffy and red and curved in a smile that is at once nice, and yet not. He’s what I’ve avoided my whole life…a bad boy to the bone.